Lonely Planet Writer

Make a splash at this new underwater restaurant in Brussels - but you’ll need a diving diploma to dine here

With lobster, champagne and €99 price tag, the latest restaurant to make a splash in Brussels could be considered fine dining. But throw in the fact that you’ll need goggles, an air tank and a diving diploma to even visit and the term ‘fine diving’ seems more apt as the Pearl is Belgium’s first underwater restaurant.

Diners inside the Pearl in Brussels.
Diners inside the Pearl in Brussels. Image by CGTN on Facebook

Located inside the Nemo33 diving centre, the Pearl sits five metres below the surface of one of its pools. The restaurant can seat four and features waiters in wetsuits who serve a meal of foie gras, lobster salad and champagne. The spherical eatery is white and has a number of windows that allow diners to look out. It’s also watertight, so customers don’t have to sit in their scuba gear whilst they eat.

A photo posted by Rudolf Gonda (@el.che.74) on Jan 3, 2017 at 5:04am PST

Speaking about the Pearl, its creator John Beernaerts told the Metro: ‘it’s a bit like going back to a foetal state, like in a cocoon. And you can talk, discuss, exchange – but all of this in a muffled atmosphere that sort of looks like our very early days.’ He also revealed that it took several attempts to get the design right, especially the mechanics of getting the food delivered.

 

Nemo33 also has another onsite restaurant serving Thai food, which is open to both divers and non-divers and features seven windows that look into the centre’s diving pools. Nemo33 was once home to the world’s deepest diving pool, which measured 34.5 metres in depth. That record was usurped by Y-40 in Montegrotto Terme, Italy which has a pool that reaches 42 metres in depth. Those hoping to book a meal at The Pearl must have a diving diploma.

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